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Burgers and then some


#Handcrafted Burger Bar was opened by the previous owner of BurgerIM, Jay Hackstaff, in the same location, 254 W. First St. He pulled out of the franchise to focus on his own burger venture, and serves as both owner and head chef of the new spot. The eatery just opened its doors in July and it’s serving up a cool list of burger creations that stray from the basics, offering variations made with grass-fed beef, salmon, chicken, turkey, crab, and plant-based patties.

First, let’s sort out the menu. The #handcrafted burger list offers up eight burgers in 1/3-1/4-lb. patties. These include combos like a North Atlantic salmon finished with honey lime glaze, pineapple salsa, and red cabbage and a steak trim burger made with a steak trim patty, red onion, bacon, cheddar cheese, an onion ring, blue cheese potato salad, and spicy mustard.

As you can see, these burgers aren’t your everyday fare.

If you can’t pick just one—and we couldn’t—you can dive into the second part of the menu, the sliders, which offers most of these clever concoctions in smaller 3-oz. bites that can be ordered in #doublecraft (two sliders) or #triplecraft (three sliders) meals. A couple of the full-sized burgers, like the salmon one, aren’t available in smaller bites, but most of them are. And, you can also order some additional flavors in these sizes, so you’re not exactly short on options.

The salmon burger at #Handcrafted Burger Bar
The salmon burger at #Handcrafted Burger Bar.
Image: Eric Marks

I’ll admit, the salmon burger, made with fish filets, caught my eye first, but I knew I needed to go for the sliders.

So, I ordered up a grass-fed patty complete with pickles, green leaf lettuce, onion, tomato, American cheese, and house sauce. Then, I chose the chicken and waffles for my second option—made with crispy Cajun chicken and honey Cajun candied bacon atop mini waffles to replace the bun and served with a side of maple syrup. Add an order of sweet potato fries and voila!  

The burgers did not disappoint. The patties are juicy, the buns are warm and firm, and the ingredients all tasted fresh. The #grassfed (yes everything has a hashtag here, but I’m going to stop doing that now so this is easier to read) is pretty much the most run-of-the-mill burger you can get on this menu, but it still holds up because the quality is top notch.

The chicken and waffles gets funky—and not in a bad way. The crispy chicken has heat and a generous helping of spice. Sometimes chicken and waffles tastes a little bland, but the Cajun seasonings on these stand out.

The fries were also cooked to perfection. Crispy but not burnt, and not soggy the way some eateries do sweet potato fries. They glistened with salt and were served with sides for dipping.

There are other fries on the menu including garlic fries, sweet chili fries, and street fries as well as onion rings and blue cheese potato salad. The regular fries look like chips, but taste like French fries—even their standard isn’t standard here.

Sandwiches, salads, shakes, and desserts like grilled donuts round out the menu. Plus, the eatery offers big box options for groups available with a 24-hour notice.

I grabbed this meal to-go, but the eatery is open for dine-in service, and the place is pretty chic. It’s small but modern, offering an easy counter-serve environment for guests.


Visit: 254 W. First St.
Online: https://www.handcrafted-restaurants.com/
Call: 775.432.2694
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday – Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday – Saturday

Nora Tarte
Nora Tarte
Nora Heston Tarte is a long-time Reno resident living on the southside of town. In addition to food, her hobbies include wine, hiking, yoga and travel. She is also the managing editor of a regional, lifestyle publication and freelances for other publications most frequently in the travel space. Nora received her bachelor's in Journalism from California State University, Sacramento before graduating from University of Nebraska, Lincoln with a master’s in Professional Journalism. You can follow her travel adventures, and local exploits, on her Instagram account @wanderlust_n_wine.